Almost 25,000 copies of TINY SNAIL in print

After more than a decade, over 18,000 copies of Tiny Snail are inching their way around the world. Many teachers wanted access to a video of the book for the classroom, so in March 2010 I posted videos of my books on YouTube. Polliwog and Kaleidonotes have been viewed a few hundred times, but in eighteen months the Tiny Snail video has been viewed 2,610 times! Tiny Snail is by far my most popular book, and last week she entered her 10th printing. Our shipment of books arrived  Tuesday, October 25th. Unfortunately the truck did not have a lift, so we unloaded 53 boxes (4,300 copies) by hand.

Tiny Snail Boxes on the Truck

Although a couple of boxes were damaged, the books inside were unharmed.

24,786 copies of Tiny Snail are now in print!

TINY SNAIL Date Soft cover Hard cover
1st Printing 3/18/00 2200
2nd Printing 12/27/01 2200
3rd Printing 9/23/02 5495
4th Printing 12/16/04 2000
5th Printing 4/18/05 500
6th Printing 2/28/07 889
7th Printing 1/28/08 4376
8th Printing 10/25/08 950
9th Printing 10/19/10 1860
10th Printing 10/25/11 4300
TOTALS 16371 8399


Go, Tiny, go!

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2011 Fall Retreat

If you want to write for children, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a great organization to join. Although it is an international organization with annual meetings in New York City (January) and Los Angeles (August), your membership entitles you to participate in conferences and/or retreats happening in any state or region around the world. Attending a conference or retreat will give you the opportunity to fine tune your manuscript by getting feedback from an editor or literary agent. You will also learn what types of manuscripts editors or literary agents want to publish.

St. Scholastica Monastery

The Arkansas SCBWI writer’s retreat occurs every fall, and in recent years writers from across the state have converged on the Saint Scholastica Retreat Center in Fort Smith for three days of intensive work on their writing. The retreat center, sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters, shares a 66 acre wooded area with Saint Scholastica Monastery, and the secluded setting is the perfect spot for contemplation and inspiration. I attended in 2009 and 2010, and during both retreats I made great progress with the revisions for my novel.

Sadly, I will be out of the state during the conference this year, but you may be able to attend! If you submit pages from your manuscript by October 1st, you will receive feedback from the editor at the retreat. The 15th annual Arkansas SCBWI Fall Retreat for Writers of Children’s Literature (November 4th-6th, 2011) will feature hands-on workshops led by Stacy Cantor Abrams, editor at Walker Books for Young Readers, and guidance on craft issues by Anna Myers, an Oklahoma author of nineteen novels for middle-grade and young adults.

You must be an SCBWI member to attend. Registration is usually by invitation only, and reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Email the Retreat Director (retreat @ arkansasscbwi.org) if you are interested in joining SCBWI and attending the retreat.

Cost:

SCBWI Membership: First year is $85. Annual renewal fee is $70. Join SCBWI

Arkansas Fall Retreat: $280 (Includes meals, snacks, all sessions, and private rooms with a shared bath.)

For more information, visit these websites:

Arkansas SCBWI

Arkansas SCBWI Retreat Page

Join SCBWI

Anna Myers Main Website

Books Published by Bloomsbury Kids

Readers Make Books Real

THE TELEGRAPH reported yesterday that Penelope Lively, the Booker Prize-winning author of MOON TIGER, said e-books are for “bloodless nerds” and are no substitute for real books. Responses to Ms. Lively’s statements vary. Sarah Crown, a blogger at the guardian.co.uk, agrees with Ms. Lively (Read Sarah’s Post), but someone needs to speak on behalf of the “bloodless nerds.” I guess that will be me!

I believe Ms. Lively needs to expand her definition of a ‘real book.’ What makes a book ‘REAL?’ My definition of REAL comes from an old picture book entitled, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” 

The Velveteen Rabbit

Image via Wikipedia

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit…

The way a book is made does not determine whether or not the book is REAL. An agent, editor or publishing house does not make a book REAL. Distributors, wholesalers, and bookstores do not make a book REAL. The paper the book is printed on does not make a book REAL. What is a REAL book? A book becomes REAL when it is loved very, very much by a reader. If that is the case, it doesn’t matter how a book comes into the world. If a reader loves it, the book is REAL.

Take care, Ms. Lively. Those “bloodless nerds” will determine the future of your books. If you insult your readers, they might just decide that your books are not REAL after all.

Further Reading:

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams
(Please note: Both the e-books and print versions are REAL;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margery_Williams

http://www.penelopelively.net/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/ways-with-words/